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March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

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Old 03-05-2019, 10:02 AM   #1
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March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

This day was going to come at some point. Some have thought it for awhile now. Others haven't been ready to admit it. But it's time to say it, coming from a LeBron fan himself.

LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. Father time has finally caught up to a seemingly invincible man.

What a ride it was though.

This was the last sports part of my childhood to die. Been looking up to this guy for nearly 18 years now.

With that said, who's the heir to the throne?

KD?

Giannis?

Steph?

Kawhi?
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:07 AM   #2
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Re: March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

KD is the best player only because Kawhi hasn't returned to his pre injury playing level. Giannis as great as he is still needs to prove himself in the postseason and improve his game.


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Old 03-05-2019, 10:50 AM   #3
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Re: March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

LeBron James (until proven otherwise) and Kevin Durant still have a level they can reach in the playoffs that no other player really comes close to. IMO

I don't even know that this is the right time to even make this claim. He's averaging 27/9/8 shooting over 50% on a year where he has been injured and playing with a new team. Other than not making the playoffs, this season isn't looking much different than his first season back with the Cavs.

He's the only player in the league giving you 25/8/8, if he comes back next year even this good and hits the playoffs doing what he's done the past 3-4 years then your post becomes irrelevant.

That said, if we are ignoring that aspect of it all, I would vote Giannis. He still needs to improve his shooting, but there isn't a player in the league with a better combination of scoring, defending, ball handling, play-making, rebounding, inside-out game, versatility on both ends, etc.. We just need to see what he brings to the table in the playoffs this year.

Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, Paul George if he can play like this in the post season or for longer than just this streak he's on, those guys are up there as well.... Harden, Kawhi, Embiid right after those guys for me.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:19 PM   #4
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Re: March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

I would agree that LeBron isn't the undisputed best player on the planet at this point. He has held that title since mid-season of 2012 (when his dominance surpassed Kobe).

LeBron's domination of the ball has hindered the development of his young teammates. His perimeter shooting remains erratic, he can't contain ball-handlers with any degree of quickness, and he has lost some lift around the rim.

Sure, he still piles up impressive numbers because of his size, mass, and elite skills.

For me Kawhi Leonard is the best player in the world because of his versatile scoring package and his plus-plus defense.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:40 PM   #5
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Re: March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

LeBron has been the best player in the NBA since at least the 2008-2009 season.

While he may not be the best player in the world I don't think there is an undisputed best player that has surpassed him. Frankly, I'm not ready to declare that he isn't the best player in the world, yet.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:59 PM   #6
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Re: March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Live 013
LeBron has been the player in the NBA since at least the 2008-2009 season.

While may not be the best player in the world I don't think there is an undisputed best player that has surpassed him. Frankly, I'm not ready to declare that he isn't best player in the world, yet.
LeBron's jump shooting from mid-range and beyond was poor in 2008 and 2009. His defense was still below par and his performance in the clutch was shaky at best. Kobe Bryant was a much better player than LeBron was in those days.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:51 PM   #7
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Re: March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Live 013
While may not be the best player in the world I don't think there is an undisputed best player that has surpassed him. Frankly, I'm not ready to declare that he isn't best player in the world, yet.
His defense has fallen so far off and now his athleticism is going too. Unless he's playing hurt still, it appears father time is booming him. His jumper and ft % are going down too.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:20 PM   #8
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Re: March 2019: LeBron James is no longer the best player in the world. So who is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Live 013
LeBron has been the player in the NBA since at least the 2008-2009 season.

While may not be the best player in the world I don't think there is an undisputed best player that has surpassed him. Frankly, I'm not ready to declare that he isn't best player in the world, yet.
This is more so the boat I'm in on this. I think we had spurts of LeBron making a case for himself as early as his 3rd year in the league. At 21 years old. Comes into his first playoff game ever plays the full 48 minutes and finishes with 32/11/11.. wins the series on 36/8/6 50+%, his first series ever.. He wasn't the best player in the league at that point, but he was the only player capable of that type of performance even then.

Next year he's in the finals, at 22 years old with no "sidekick" anywhere even remotely close to the level of player he was, which was probably the first time the league had something like that since Larry Bird, or Hakeem. Albeit the teams he knocked off weren't totally outstanding.

Those two seasons back-to-back I think are when he started to have an argument. But like you said, the 2008-2009 season, that's the year to me that he basically took the leap. They ran into an Orlando team that they just couldn't match-up with, would have been really fun to get the Kobe-LeBron showdown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBrady
LeBron's jump shooting from mid-range and beyond was poor in 2008 and 2009. His defense was still below par and his performance in the clutch was shaky at best. Kobe Bryant was a much better player than LeBron was in those days.
In a way yes, in a way no. He wasn't a great shooter, but he couldn't be stopped from getting to the rim and scoring efficiently either. That's kinda like saying Jason Kidd didn't have a good jumper, or a good post player didn't have a good jumper.. They didn't have to rely on that to be the players they were. His FG% from his 2nd year through his last year with the Cavs were all good enough to be Kobe's best year ever.

Piggy backing off of that, nearly half his shots from 10 feet and out were behind the 3 point line. Where as we know 33% from 3 yields the same output as 50% from 2. Meaning that his eFG% and TS% numbers were better as well.

Defensively, I think 2009 is actually right around the time his defense really started to look like an All-NBA level defense.. Prior to that he was making strides, but that to me is when he took the jump. Part of that was adding a couple of plus level defenders around him, and the fact that in 2008 they had so many injuries that there was never any sort of consistency on either end. (21 different starting line-ups).. He's always been a top tier defensive rebounder, and in the passing lanes, but that is the year his focus on being great at both ends really shifted.

I'm also not sure on the shaky in the clutch either. He had plenty of big time clutch moments before that season. Making timely winning plays wasn't an issue as he had been closing out playoff games with regularity up until this point. Regardless in the grand scheme of things, a point scored in the first minute of a game is the same as a point scored in the last minute.. Sure there is something to be said about not ****ting the bed in big moments, but otherwise "clutch" is more just something for us to argue and measure more than it is a claim to being good/bad at basketball.
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